Did external barriers cause the marginalization of sub-Saharan Africa in world trade?
OECD barriers did not play a significant role in sub-Saharan Africa's declining position in world trade over the last three decades. The detrimental effects of the African countries'own policies, such as those that influence international transport costs, were considerably more important. However, OECD countries have policy options available that could further improve the external environment for, and competitive position of, African exports. Given the dimensions of rural poverty throughout Africa, and the potential contribution increased agricultural exports could make toward its alleviation, initiatives relating to this sector should have the highest priority. The first chapter of the paper discusses trade and African development prospects. Chapter 2 reviews the destination and composition of African exports. Chapter 3 addresses the OECD tariff barriers facing Africa and chapter 4 the nontariff barriers. Finally, chapter 5 discusses some issues relating to transport costs.
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